Copyright and intellectual property issues are a part of the fabric of research and scholarly communications, and thus all Stanford faculty, students and staff need a working understanding of copyright law as it impacts their daily lives. The Copyright Reminder, which highlights common campus copyright concerns and outlines fundamental elements of US copyright law, is distributed annually to ensure that the Stanford community remains aware of those issues.
While copyright holders rights are exclusive, there are some exceptions built in to copyright law that allow works to be used without permission of the copyright holder in very specific conditions. The five major exceptions that are used in the academic environment are:
- Fair Use (Section 109 of Title 17)
- First Sale (also Section 109 of Title 17)
- Face-to-face teaching (Section 110 of Title 17)
- Distance learning (TEACH Act), and
- Library and archives exceptions (Section 108 of Title 17)
The specific situations in which each of these exceptions applies are outlined below. For works in copyright, unless one of these exceptions applies to your situation, you need permission to copy, distribute, or display the work. Note that there is no general exception for educational use.